Monday, May 6, 2013

Gardening


My mom has always had a huge garden. The flower garden was a very large fenced area with a trellis over the entrance reading, "The Garden of Eden" (and the other side said, "Back to Life!" as you were exiting), and it really did feel like it. Paths ran through many flower beds, there were bird baths, ornamental pieces (my favorite of which was a large cement pagoda), and a large hand-dug, handmade koi pond right in the middle. If we couldn't find Momma, we knew that's where she was.

Her vegetable garden was just as impressive. We never had to purchase fruits and veggies during the summer... we had plenty of corn, greens, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, melons, apples, grapes, peppers, okra, and so much more. Anything that we didn't have, the neighbors always did. I always had my own little section for my herbs and veggies and have really missed the garden since living in the city.

We did get a bunch of seeds started when we were in San Antonio, but the cats kept knocking them over so they never matured. Last summer I was busy learning how to be a mom, so didn't even think about gardening. But this summer is different. I feel like I have this mom thing down pat now and Arthur is at an age where he can enjoy playing in the yard while I keep one eye on him and one eye on the ground in front of me. I don't have a whole lot of space for gardening, but I do have an overgrown bed in front of the house to work with...


This is the "before" picture. It's overgrown with Iris, grass, poison ivy, and some unidentified weeds. I got to work digging it all up:


This was the first day's progress (Arthur eventually woke from his nap so I had to call it a day). I now have it mostly cleared out minus a foot or two closest to the porch. Once I have the ground cleared and the soil worked (and it's after May 10, which the Almanac says will be the last frost), I'll be planting cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, bitter melon, green beans, and squash.


I'm also doing herb pots on the porch (oh, and the iron columns on the porch will be used for my climbing plants). So far I have Rosemary, mint, chives, and lavender. I will be planting more tomorrow with dill, parsley, thyme, and maybe a few others.


This is my experiment with a Topsy Turvy. We bought it in Texas and it has sat in the unopened box since then. I got an heirloom Brandywine tomato plant and am testing to see just how well this thing works. I've heard mixed reviews, but the neighbor lady swears that it makes the plant produce more than normal. We've named it Mater (Arthur loves the movie Cars).

I hope our little garden flourishes and we have a good supply of veggies and herbs this summer! It's expensive to buy them at the grocery store, not to mention that these will be healthier anyway.

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